Quinnipiac School of Education remains without underrepresented faculty for second consecutive year

Julius Millan, Staff Writer

Quinnipiac University’s School of Education has no full-time faculty members who identify as underrepresented minorities, limiting the perspectives from which students learn, according to the university’s 2022 Equity and Inclusion report.

Based on the 2021 report, this is the second consecutive year the School of Education is the only department or school within the university without a full-time faculty member that identifies as a URM.

The School of Education was listed as having 0% underrepresented minority faculty in the 2022 Equity and Inclusion report. (Peyton McKenzie)


Not having minority professors in the School of Education is not unfamiliar for some students. 

Class of 2022 English program graduate Justin Ellis said he doesn’t remember having a URM professor for a class.

“I never had the opportunity to be taught by a professor from a minority population,” Ellis said. “However, the professors who actively taught our diversity-based courses were extremely knowledgeable.”

Hiring professors from diverse backgrounds can keep underrepresented students in the classroom, according to an article by Vector Solutions, a consulting and management firm.

“A diverse faculty can help improve retention rates among minority student populations,” the 2017 article said.

Not only are minority students more likely to be retained, but all students have the opportunity to learn a fresh perspective from an underrepresented professor, according to Interfolio, an academic faculty management company. In addition, URM faculty can expand “societal knowledge and understanding” on topics already researched.

Gordon said Quinnipiac is not pleased with its lack of diversity within the School of Education but the report must be taken into context.

“The School of Education is a very small school,” Mordechai Gordon, professor and chair of education, said. “It’s more like a department, a small one at that.”

The School of Education currently has 13 full-time faculty members. Apart from Gordon, all are white women. As of 2019, there were 322 students enrolled in the School of Education.

Gordon also said it is “unfair” to compare the School of Education’s demographics with a larger school, such as the College of Arts and Sciences.

According to the report, 17% of full-time faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences identify as URM.

Throughout all schools at Quinnipiac, around 1 in 5 full-time faculty members are from a URM background, according to this year’s report. The School of Business, with 55 full-time faculty, leads the way with around 45% identifying as a URM.

The second-most diverse school in terms of faculty is the School of Law, where 23.8% of full-time faculty identify as a URM, followed by the School of Computing & Engineering, at 20%. 

All other schools at QU have less than 20% URM full-time faculty, according to the report.

Outside of the School of Education, the next lowest rate of URM faculty comes out of the School of Nursing, where 9% of its 31 full-time faculty identify as a URM.

Gordon said there is more diversity among part-time faculty in the School of Education.

The Equity and Inclusion report did not disclose the demographics of part-time faculty members at the university.

“In the School of Education, we have multiple minority part-time faculty,” Gordon said.

“They come from various backgrounds, and it is important we recognize that.”

To counteract the lack of diversity within the school of education, Gordon and Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Don Sawyer said the school is opening two new faculty positions and are prioritizing URM candidates.

“(The School of Education administration) understand the importance of diversifying the faculty,” Sawyer said. “And so they have a plan in place when they have a role open to be able to expand it and cast the net wide and hopefully find someone that would be able to fill that position.”

However, Sawyer said the university cannot “force it.”

“It has to happen organically,” Sawyer said. “We can’t tell people who to hire, but we need to make sure that the pool is diverse and representative of the field.”